Friday, July 08, 2011

Pergamon Museum

This is the Pergamon Altar in the Pergamon Museum. We took the kids there on Tuesday. I think of this as Berlin's Elgin Marbles, though I'm certain that would offend everyone. And speaking of the Elgin Marbles, I'm really on the fence about returning works of art to their native countries. Yeah, I don't have that one figured out. Not least because they have installed them so beautifully here. . .
Helping out the students. Monday through Thursday Rob is teaching them a class on art and architecture. He takes them to a new museum or building each day and they talk about what makes it a good representation of the classical/medieval/baroque/neoclassical/whatever period. He feels apologetic about it because he isn't trained in art or architecture, but this is the way to learn it. Believe me, I learned it all in Provo from a book.
Orienting the kids. The audioguides were nice. I seldom get to use them, but I learned a lot on this trip through the museum.
This is the Market Gate of Miletus. Another huge installation that the museum has done so well.
I know it looks like I'm pointing out the cornithian columns to a preschooler, but I was probably actually singing "In the Leafy Treetops" under my breath so he wouldn't scream.
Rob had bought each of the kids a sketchbook and the oldest three went to town making pictures of sections of sculptures. They're finally old enough to do some of this!
The Ishtar Gate. This, for me, is the highlight of the museum. German archeologists went to the site of Babylon at the end of the 19th century and found a few fragments of blue pottery. They took them back home and got money together for a substantial expedition where they found the fragments to recreate this. Most of the blue background and much of the decoration has been recreated to match the found tiles, but it is stunning in its entirety.
The kids were sketching the goats and bulls and the dragon/eagle/serpent/scorpion thing.
Awful picture, but I had to put it in just to show the scale. The museum here has just recreated the lower inner gate, and then three of the crenellations on the road leading up to the gates of Babylon. When you compare this to the photo of the gate full size in the museum, you begin to see how imposing it might have been.
Rob had just been last March during his research trip, so he took the boys out to a spielplatz once they had seen the highlights. I took Maddie on through the Islamic art.
These reminded her of the Chronicles of Narnia.
And finally, the Aleppo room. An entire room from the 16th century, of painted wood. Originally there was a fountain in the middle of the room, so I imagine that the glass treatment and the humidifier inside are to help preserve the wood. It was breathtaking.
This would be my number one museum pick in Berlin, and that is saying something.

1 comment:

Nedra said...

I remember being blown away by the Pergamon. I thought it was amazing. All the things you posted. It's so exciting seeing the kids taking it all in, "In the Leafy Treetops", if necessary. At least he was there. It's in his brain molecules somewhere.
Thanks for your blogs. We're drinking them in.